Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nerdiness, Part Infinite

Did you know that the yellow fever vaccine is cultivated using a live sample of the virus incubated in a chicken egg? This fact alone I found very interesting, especially since the same technique has been used worldwide since 1936. But the *real* thing I found fascinating is that people who are allergic to eggs shouldn't get a yellow fever vaccine!

I've had the shot twice now, and was never asked if I was allergic to eggs prior to getting stuck with the needle. Granted, the most recent vaccine I received was an a public health clinic in Maputo at the verylastminute before traveling to Brasil, but I'm surprised none of the lawsuit-phobes working in the infections disease clinics in the US thought to mention this little fact.

Here in Brazil, one of the world leader in vaccine development, researchers have been developing a yellow fever vaccine using a dna sequence as the starting point, as opposed to a live culture. Unfortunately, the project is at risk of being aborted because of lack of funding. Quel surprise...


Captain Cat said...

Mmm, that is interesting. I found out the other day that the flu vaccine is useless because you're being immunised against the previous year's strain of the flu virus, not this coming year, and they mutate each year.

Hey, welcome back by the way! Sounds like you had an incredible time. Would love to see some photos when you get a chance.


Stacie said...

Glad you are back...

Amber said...

Hi nerd. Yes, I did know that. lol! But only because my son is allergic to eggs, and I study up on vaccines.

Hope all is well with, love!


Ali la Loca said...

~Captain Cat - Oh, my fellow nerdlette. :) I've never had a flu shot, but it's kind of satisfying to know that if I wanted to pretend it's because of an epidemiological fact, and not just because I'm scared of needles, I now know exactly what to say.

~Stacie - Me, too! Maputo definitely feels like home, which is a great feeling.

~Amber - Hi nerd right back at you! So this makes me wonder, are other vaccines cultivated in eggs? Must go do some Wikipedia work.